What is Vindaloo? Everything You Should Know About This Indian Dish

Vindaloo is one of the most widely-used recipes in Indian culture! It can be made with meat or vegetarian, so you can switch up the ingredients depending on your dietary needs. It’s a perfect meal for busy families or to put on when you have dinner guests.

What is Vindaloo?

So, what is vindaloo? Vindaloo is one of the most popular Indian dishes that originated in the Goa region of India. It’s a heavily spiced dish that can be vegetarian or that can contain things like pork, chicken or tofu. Indian vindaloo tends to be fiery hot and spicy due to the chilies!

Common Vindaloo Ingredients:

Before you get started cooking your Indian vindaloo, you’re going to have to have the right ingredients! Typically, vindaloo is made up of vindaloo sauce, which is usually made from caramelized onions, curry paste, coconut milk, vinegar, ginger, chilies, jalapeno, garlic, chickpeas, lentils, and other spices like garam masala, salt, pepper, paprika, and turmeric. 

If you’re looking to add more texture or ingredients to your Indian vindaloo, you could add chicken breasts, tofu, or even more veggies like zucchini, potatoes, and bell peppers. You could also adjust the amounts of chilies and jalapeno you put in depending on how spicy you like your food!

Dried red chili on a plate

Which Vindaloo Spices to Use

When making vindaloo, the most important ingredients are arguably the spices. The most common spices to use in vindaloo are:

  • Ginger
  • Cumin
  • Ground yellow mustard seeds
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground cloves
  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Other ingredients that you might use are ghee, dried tamarind, lemon juice, and brown sugar. If you’re in a pinch, you could always take a shortcut and buy Sukhi’s Vindaloo Sauce.

How Is Vindaloo Made?

Vindaloo can be made a number of ways depending on how much time you have! 

  1. If you’re using Sukhi’s Vindaloo Sauce, then all you do is add 1.25lbs of meat or veggies, the sauce, and one cup of water in a saucepan. Combine the ingredients and mix well. Simmer on medium-high heat until the chicken is cooked and a thick gravy is formed.
  2. If you have an Instant Pot, you can follow this quick recipe by Two Sleeves and have a meal ready to go in just 30 minutes!
  3. If you’re looking to make it from scratch, you could use this recipe from Whisk Affair:
    1. First, you would dry roast your chilies, coriander seeds, whole spices, cumin, and mustard seeds till fragrant and slightly browned.
    2. Blend them up with tamarind, garlic, ginger, and vinegar to make a paste. 
    3. Heat oil in pan and saute your chopped onions
    4. Add pork or chicken and cook 3-4 minutes
    5. Add tomato puree and paste
    6. Add salt, turmeric, and water and then cook for around 45 minutes. 
    7. Add a little sugar and cook for another minute.
    8. Serve!

No matter how you decide to make your vindaloo, most of the key ingredients stay the same. Find a way that works for you and your family. 

What to Serve with Vindaloo?

So, you’ve made your Indian vindaloo — now what? There are many tasty sides to serve with your curry. Here are some of the most popular ways to serve your vindaloo:

  1. Naan bread
  2. Basmati rice
  3. Potatoes
  4. Chappatis
  5. Wraps

More Popular Indian Dishes:

While you’re at it, try one of our other recipes or learn more about Indian cuisine!

  1. Chicken Vindaloo Wraps
  2. Holiday Pinwheels
  3. Curry Guide
  4. Grilled Naan Pizza
  5. Basics of Spices: Part One
  6. Basics of Spices: Part Two

19 responses to What is Vindaloo? Everything You Should Know About This Indian Dish

  • LOVE your Chicken Vindaloo!!! Its unfortunate that it cannot be found in Portland Oregon.

    • Oh no! We’d love to help you find a place around you that carries Sukhi’s Chicken Vindaloo. Can you share your zip code with us?

    • You can, or at least used to be able to find it in the PDX area. We bought some about 7 or 8 years ago, most likely from a Safeway or Albertsons store in the Hillsboro area or the (then) Lamb’s Thriftway market in Wilsonville. We no longer live in Oregon, but I did not open it until recently as it got lost in the back of a cupboard, but it was still good.

      • They have it at Costco in Aloha, Or. We bought it recently. Thanks for the recipe. We’re going to try and use it as paste on a brisket that we’re going to smoke for 10-12 hours. Will report back how it turns out!

    • Thank you! We’re sorry to hear that you are not able to find it at your local stores. But, don’t worry – you can purchase it through our online store. https://sukhis.myshopify.com So now you can stock up on Chicken Vindaloo and other favorites!

  • This isnt vindaloo. It’s primarily made with pork. This dish has not been researched at all.

    • You are correct, traditionally Vindaloo is made with pork and that’s how it is made in a traditional Goan kitchen. The recipe we are sharing here is a more approachable version of a traditional Vindaloo recipe which can be cooked and enjoyed even by vegetarians or by people who do not eat pork.

      • Because of u all my mouth get very ???????????? I want to taste it…
        Anyone will help me in making this recipe..plz

  • The way I understand it. The original Vindaloo was brought over to Goa by Portugese sailors. Pork was stored in wine and garlic for the sea journey but the wine tended to turn to vinegar. Locals generally did not eat pork and adapted the dish to other ingredients such as chicken. Therefore, proving the dish contains the basic Vindaloo ingredients, it is authentic as far as I’m concerned.

    • I’m Portuguese and I can attest to that! Even today, some traditional Portuguese sausages must have meat which was kept in wine and garlic (and bayleaf!) for at least 3 weeks.

  • Vndaloo is based on the Portuguese dish, “carne de vinha d’alhos.”

    When the Portuguese arrived in Goa, the Goans living in India (who didn’t then know Portuguese) called it “vindaloo” (which phonetically sounds the same).

  • Have tried several of your packaged dishes & find them delicious. I just ate with friends at a local Indian restaurant here in Arlington, TX: Indian Bistro 14. The lamb vindaloo was outstanding, like all their dishes. I look forward to cooking this dish myself. Thanks for the recipe.

  • We have purchased your Chicken Tikka Masala, Chicken Biryani, Chicken Coconut Curry with Mango, and enjoyed all of them. We love Sukhi’s foods, and look forward to eating more varieties….we puchase them at our local Costco Store in Charlotte, N.C.

    • Thank you so much! So glad that you have tired so many of our curries. Look out for more new items at Costco soon. If you want to know about new products you can subscribe for our newsletter at Sukhis.com (in the bottom of page).

    • Hi Bernadette,
      You can use our Store Locator to search for a specific item. Or you can purchase our sauces online at Sukhis.com
      The sodium content for our Vindaloo sauce is 520mg/serving. Hope you enjoy cooking with Sukhi’s convenient curry sauces!

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